'저는 그들의 땅을 지키기 위하여 싸웠던 인디안들의 이야기를 기억합니다. 백인들이 그들의 신성한 숲에 도로를 만들기 위하여 나무들을 잘랐습니다. 매일밤 인디안들이 나가서 백인들이 만든 그 길을 해체하면 그 다음 날 백인들이 와서 도로를 다시 짓곤 했습니다. 한동안 그 것이 반복되었습니다. 그러던 어느날, 숲에서 가장 큰 나무가 백인들이 일할 동안 그들 머리 위로 떨어져 말과 마차들을 파괴하고 그들 중 몇몇을 죽였습니다. 그러자 백인들은 떠났고 결코 다시 오지 않았습니다….' (브루스 개그논)





EMERGENCY IN GANGJEONG ON SEPT. 2! (See the below blog)

URGENT PLEA: DEAR FRIENDS of JEJU ISLAND, ISLAND OF WORLD PEACE (Click!)

Please check HERE(Click) for continuous updates of emergency in
Gangjeong, Jeju Island since Aug. 24, 2011 and site links on the struggle against Jeju naval base construction !

8월 24일 및 이후 제주도 강정 마을 긴급 관련, 계속되는 영문 업데이트 및 국문 사이트, 링크들은 여기(클릭)를 보세요!

RELEASE Kang Dong-Kyun(Gangjeong village mayor, 54), Kim Jong-Hwan(villager, 54), and Kim Dong-Won(photographer, 25)! (Facebook: Click HERE)

강정 마을회 까페 사이트(클릭) 강정 마을회 웹사이트(클릭)


Friday, February 12, 2010

[Translation Fwd] Three Years’ Death Struggle-When the Spring Would Come to Gangjeong?


* Below is the arbitrary translation of the Tongil News article (in the link). All the image sources are Koh Sung-Jin, the writer of the article. For the related article (translated) by the same writer on Jan. 12, see the bottom. Emphases are by the writer.



Tongil News
Three Years’ Death Struggle-When the Spring Would Come to Gangjeong?:
Visiting to the Gangjeong Village Suffering from Fatigue for the ‘Naval Base’ Issue

Feb. 12, Friday, 2010
Koh Sung-Jin (kolong81(at) tongilnews.com)


Since we were expelled on Jan. 18, we have continuously been here. Even though however much the naval base is the national business, how we should do if they would enforce to build it? (In vernacular languages of the Jeju Island) Does it make sense?”

During the day of [Feb.] 11th, the tired look in the face of Mr. Kim Hyun-Suk (pseudonym), the ‘head of tent,' was obvious, in the solid tent different from its outer appearance. It was because he has kept his [vigil] duty since last night. There were the names of the village people densely in the [vigil duty] list.

A wild sea wind was infiltrated into a tent. People were burning a fire in front of tent to melt their frozen bodies. A yellow dog ‘Joongduk’ named after the village coast shook his tail even to a visitor from other land.

The talks about the soccer game between China and South Korea on Feb. 10 was in the heat. “ This kind of country should lose once, then it will be sane again,” It was profoundly heard. The yellow flags written with “ (We) Death-Defiantly Oppose the Naval Base”, stuck everywhere were fluttering by the wind.

▲During the day of [Feb.] 11, I visited the Gangjeong village, Daechun-dong, Seogwipo City,
where the naval base would be built, the village people were having the tent vigil in the planned area.


“ It is natural to clash if [the government] enforces [the naval base]. The result would not be good if [the government] insists it, ignoring people’s opinion, of course,” lamenting voice of a 70 years old man was heard through the wind.

In the village Gangjeong of which the name came because of its abundant water from the old time, the flags of “ (We) Death-Defiantly Oppose the Naval Base” were held like the name-plates in the every places of the village. Even though it was the secluded atmosphere like any fishing villages in the Jeju Island, one could read the people’ hearts there from the banners of the ‘no naval base’ held everywhere [in the village].

* The Korean-pronounced ‘Gang’s Chinese letter inscription is 江 . It means ‘River’, while ‘Jeong’s is 汀 which means ‘near water and/ or clean appearance of water') .

The village belonging to Daechun-dong, Seogwipo City, the Jeju special self-governing Island, has been suffering from the illness of fatigue, for near three years, due to the naval base issue. The village people’s tent vigil that started last year has been continuing over to the next year.

On 18th, last month, about [50] village people who have been taking the tent vigil, near the planned area for the ceremony to start the work on the naval base were forcefully taken away by the police. Since then, the navy setting up fence around the planned area and blocking it with wire fences, has controlled ‘in and out’ of the area. The village people are processing the tent vigil near the area.

As recently, the physical conflicts have been happening before the ceremony for the naval base, the conflict between the power class who drive to establish it and the village people has been in its highest point.

“Even though [we], the people in the Gangjeong village do not use the guns and swords, [we] are actually fighting hard against the state power, more fiercely than in 4.3 uprising. The village people are all infuriated of the state power that takes us away, saying [our protest] is illegal. And [we] are ready to counter them to the end. We have done the peaceful protest even without a stick in our hands. However, we don’t know ourselves if there comes the time when we confront the deadlock. The village people are determined to all die [for fight].”

▲ I met the Gangjeong mayor Kang Dong-Kyun in the Gangjeong village people’s council hall.

Mayor Kang Dong Kyun has constantly spat out the dry cough. His chain-smoking was continued, as well. He has quit the smoking for more than three years but began to smoke again since he got the charge of mayor and entered the opposing activities against the naval base. When he said that he was lack of his own bodies even though he might have 10 of his bodies, his words were felt that he was not exaggerating.

“ There is only one [cause] that the navy and Jeju island are trying to build the naval base, that the village people were in favor of it, according to the poll practiced in April 2007. However, when there was the vote by village people on August 10, 2007, 94% of the village people were against it. Then, how there can be any result of favor for it? [The navy and the Island] are manipulating the public opinion of the village people with the chopped logic and doing the systematic violence [to us]."

In the beginning, the Gangjeong village was not even included in the candidate areas for the naval base. It was because its vicinity environment was outstanding as to be designated as the excellent village for its natural ecology in 2006, and furthermore, because of its costal geography that was protruded toward the sea, there was never a reasonable sense for the harbor or military base to be set up, from the location point of view.

In the environmental impact evaluation for the naval base, which was investigated in the eight areas of the Jeju Island, the Gangjeong village was not even included in the research areas. The most provable candidate area was the Hwasoon harbor near Sanbangsan. There was the fierce opposition by the village people for five years, then the next candidate area was the Weemee-ri. There, village people’s opposition was continued as well.

On April 10, 2007, to the question of ‘whether there were any other naval base candidate areas beside Hwasoon and Weemee,’ the Island Governor Kim Tae Hwan said, ‘No’, in the Jeju Island assembly. Since then, about two weeks later, poll was done in the Gangjeong village on April 26 and the bill for the hosting the naval base was passed on the village general meeting. Mayor Kang Dong Kyun explained about the situation at the time:

“It was revealed [later] that there had been the contact in the closed room between the governor Kim Tae-Hwan and ex-mayor whom we discharged. [To say again], there was an operation behind the door. The ex-mayor had brought the acquainted to his side and won the fishing community over, by saying it to give 100million~150million won [* about $ 86,000 ~$130,000]."

“ The situation of the village general meeting [on the day] had no make sense, neither. I mean the fishing community and sea diving women who had not ever been present in the village general meeting by then, participated in large numbers and cast their ballots for favor to host [the naval base]. The public announcement term was only three days not a week and the agenda [which was originally] about the naval base related, was also changed to that of whether to host the naval base, on the very day of the general meeting. To say how serious was the degree of those people’s manipulation, all the result of the general meeting appeared in the Internet site even before the end of general meeting. They had already made their press release to media.

▲ The coast of the Gangjeong village where the naval base is planned to set up is the 7th Olle gil course
and its nature view is beautiful. The letters of ‘ Resign, Kim Tae-Hwan’ was all over the place.

[* Olle is the Jeju Island vernacular term, meaning something like a narrow path way (gil). For more see HERE].

It was a situation that most village people were betrayed behind their backs. Since then, in the village people’s vote on August 10, despite the interruption of the navy and Jeju Island, about 700 people joined the vote and opposition ballots [against the naval base] were overwhelmingly 680.

Even then, the Jeju Island and navy drove for the naval base construction. They even appeased some villagers by saying that they would give them enormous reparation payment and fostered the conflicts among the villagers. The work to make cloudy of the focus of the issue on the essential matter, by making the point on the ‘controversy on pro& con’ was paralleled together. The conflicts among the villagers that have been going on for 2years and 10 months have changed the atmosphere of the village chilly.

“ The local newspaper has conducted the poll. If you see that, 40% of the Gangjeong villagers have felt the suicide impulse due to the conflict related to naval base construction. It is a shocking result. The village that has lived in amity together is feeling suicide impulse as the state is tearing the village in shreds. The hearts of the village people have currently become impoverished and devastated. Brothers fight each other and uncle & nephew fight each other. They don’t spend the festival days together, nor religious services, and nor mowing. They do nothing at all [together] now. Is it the nation business to make so, on earth?”

Mayor Kang who had worried due to villagers’ conflicts, looked as if he had more to tell. The 54year old native who was born and grown up in the village could not hide his being heartbroken for the village look different from the past.

“ Every new Chinese year’s day, 1pm, people used to invite all the elders in the village elders’ hall and all the villagers gave them new year’s bow in an auditorium. However, it has become disappeared since last year. In the village that has lived in such amity within, the conflicts among the villagers have grown, and the good village customs such as respecting elders and raising well juniors, because of the naval base matter,. It is so mad thing.”

“If it is truly a nation business that the nation needs, it should not lie [to us] but honestly tell [to us], seek the cooperation from [us], the villagers and get ask [our] understanding. These [navy and Jeju Island politicians etc] are doing the things that do not make sense at all. While saying it is not the military base but the tourism-beauty harbor, they are making fool of the Jeju Island people and lying to [whole] people. They should not do that, really.”

The lawsuit for the request of damage indemnity that 21people including Gangjeong villagers have appealed against 9 environment impact evaluation committee members last November is currently waited for the trial in the Jeju local court, and the [lawsuit] against the disposal on the change of the absolute preservation area, which was in controversy for its [improper] administrative procedure in the driving process for the Jeju naval base construction is in the process of appeal for the pose of the execution by the Gangjeong village people’s council.



▲ Peace tower set up in the coast of the Gangjeong village.

Currently the naval base construction business is posed for a while as the Catholic Diocese of Cheju (*=Jeju) has requested that it should be indefinitely postponed as 450 people including mayor Kang Dong Kyun have applied the lawsuit against the Ministry of National Defense last April, [2009] - for the confirmation for the cancellation of the approval disposal of the practice plan on the defense/military facility business- and until the administrative procedure for the license of the reclamation of public surface is concluded .

However, tension is surrounding around [the village] because it can be started any time. Especially because there is the high possibility that the naval base construction is accelerated starting with the ceremony to start to work on it, it is viewed that this spring will be the important time.

“When the Island governor and the Minister of the Defense department first came to the Gangjeong village, they have said that they would never drive for the naval base construction without villagers’ agreement. [However], there has never been the agreement process with the villagers. These people performing the institutional violence with the state power are oppressing us. And they are dividing the villagers one another, with the help of the portion of the villagers who are in favor of the naval base. What on earth is the national business? That is the reason that why the villagers oppose [the naval base construction] and we can never stop this fight.”

“ [I] don’t know how the result of [our] appeal [against the Ministry of National Defense Department] for the confirmation for the cancellation of the approval disposal of the practice plan on the defense/military facility would come out. Obviously we are doing the right claim and it is the opposite side who is making the chopped logic. Even though the appeal result might not come out well for us, this struggle will be continued. It is a part of process. [We] would be empowered if the result is good. However, even though it is not, the reason that we oppose the naval base does not change.”

____________________________________________________________________

* Related blogs

http://nobasestorieskorea.blogspot.com/2010/01/translation-fwd-struggle-is-now-in.html
Tuesday, January 12, 2010, Koh Sung-Jin, Tongil News
[Translation Fwd: Interview] The Struggle is in Earnest Now… We will Never Lose:
Mayor Kang Dong Kyun, Gangjeong Village Council, Confronting against the ‘Naval Base’
[영문 번역] 이제 싸움 본격화..결코 지지 않을 것"
'해군기지' 건설에 맞선 제주강정마을회 강동균 회장
2010년 01월 12일 (화), 고성진, 통일 뉴스


http://nobasestorieskorea.blogspot.com/2010/01/news-update-struggle-against-jeju-naval.html

[News Update] Struggle Against the Jeju Naval Base since Jan. 18, 2010
1월 18일 경찰의 강정 마을 급습 이후 뉴스 엎데이트

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